Vail, Vail Resorts working on a plan for ‘seamless service’
Plan includes guest service training, employee recognition and 'activated apres' events
VAIL — It’s often said that visitors don’t know, or care, who runs a ski mountain, a business or a town. It’s all one place.
A group of Vail residents and business representatives, along with Vail Resorts, have been meeting for the past few months to talk about ways to create a seamless guest experience.
The Vail Town Council this summer got its first look at that plan.
Committee member Yann Benjamin of Vail Resorts told the council that the idea of guest service training has a couple of goals.
The first is presenting a consistent message, from art galleries to on-mountain restaurants. The other is trying to improve employee retention. People who stick around may be more likely to understand Vail’s guest service standards.
Whether new or returning, “a continuous message is key,” Benjamin said. If employees are excited for a season, guests will pick up on that enthusiasm, he added.
Components of the program include training and leadership development forums through the season. Vail Resorts will provide training content.
That can build on the success of Vail’s on-mountain team. Benjamin said that team’s customer satisfaction scores have grown over the past several years.
‘About creating community’
Committee member Mia Vlaar, the town’s economic development director, said engaging employees can build on the success the Vail Chamber & Business Association had last season, working with 400 people working for chamber businesses.
Vlaar said that program helped create connections among people working in town.
“It’s about creating community,” Vlaar said.
The proposed training and engagement is scheduled to start in late October and run into roughly mid-December. In addition to training, merchant tours and employee appreciation events, the proposal would also include sessions dedicated to Vail’s history.
The combination of training and still-unspecified events comes with a price tag. The committee estimates that the town would need to put more than $150,000 into the effort in this calendar year.
Mayor Dave Chapin praised the committee’s work, saying there’s value in what’s being proposed.
“Ultimately, it’s the guest that benefits,” Chapin said.
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.